Hyderabad's Secret Midnight Train Kicks Off Return of Migrants

HYDERABAD/RANCHI: In a midnight silence exercise aimed at avoiding a Bandra-like situation, 1,225 migrant workers were picked up from a camp near IIT-Hyderabad on Thursday and boarded a train home at dawn on Friday, putting What turned out to be a centrally coordinated initiative to transport batches of stranded people back to their places of origin on point-to-point Shramik Special trains is underway.

Aside from Jharkhand CM, his Telangana counterpart DGP Mahender Reddy and Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, no one seemed to have advance information about the first train that left for Hatia, 1,400 km from Hyderabad. Even the travelers did not know they were going home by train until they reached Lingampalli Station. The train left at 4.50 a.m.

The announcement by the Union Interior Ministry that the railways had been allowed to operate special trains at the request of the states came long after the first one crossed into Maharashtra from the Telangana border.

Sources said a team from the Sangareddy rural police station had segregated selected travelers from a group of 2,500 migrant workers and led them to 56 buses that took them to the station. All were medically examined before being transferred.

When the buses started leaving the camp in Kandi, most of the workers thought they were taking them to Jharkhand by road. We did not inform them about the train journey until they reached Lingampalli station. Our goal was to ensure that news about a special train did not leak through social media. There are thousands of migrant workers in labor camps near the station. said an intelligence officer.

The route was also kept confidential to ensure that groups of migrant workers did not attempt to stop the train or board it on the way.

The Telangana government had paid more than Rs 5 lakh to the railways for the special train to Hatia.

In Ranchi, DC, Rai Mahimapat Ray said the district administration would receive migrant workers and transport them home after a medical examination and other procedures. We have deployed teams from the health department that will perform a thermal scan before returnees leave the station facilities. Dinner will be provided before your road trip.

According to the evaluation, workers will be informed about the isolation in the home or will be transferred to institutional quarantine. The medical examination will be done at Paras Hospital in the HEC area, Ray said.

The district administration has deployed 40 magistrates to accompany buses that will transport returnees to various districts with a police escort.

Another load of migrant trains is heading to Bhopal from Nashik in Maharashtra. MP's first Shramik Special will arrive at the Habibganj station on Saturday morning, with 341 workers. Management has said that no one except a designated team will be able to meet them at the station.

Bhopal DRM Uday Borwanker said the six-car train in Habibganj was expected around 6.30 in the morning. Around 55 people travel in each bus, which normally has a capacity of 72, to guarantee social distance.

None of the travelers knew until noon on Friday that they would be evacuated. The train schedule was kept secret until the last moment.

In Kerala, a third special train carrying 1,140 guest workers from Odisha was due to leave the Aluva train station for Bhubaneswar on Friday night. They had all registered with the administration for the trip back home.

While passengers were required to pay the specified fare, the administration provided free drinking water, cookies, fruit, and bread for the nonstop trip. The train is expected in Bhubaneswar at midnight on May 2.

According to the Kerala Labor Department, around 3.61 lakh guest workers currently reside in 20,826 camps in the state. Three or four other special trains are likely to operate from Ernakulam on Saturday, transporting people to northern India and the northeast.

The fourth special train on Friday left Jaipur for Patna with students, migrant workers and others trapped in Rajasthan. The manager of the Danapur railway division said the special train would run non-stop to reach its destination around noon on Saturday.

Transportation Secretary Sanjay Kumar Agarwal said around 100 buses would be parked at the Danapur train station to take passengers to their towns and villages after a medical examination.

The Covid-19 state nodal officer Dr. told TOI on Friday that it was not possible to collect samples from all people returning from various states. The chief secretary of the health department has asked the ICMR to issue separate guidelines because we cannot do rapid tests, she said.

For Bihar, the large number of migrant workers waiting to return, around 27 lakh, makes the screening exercise a daunting task.

In Odisha, Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy said all arrangements had been made to safely detect and transport the first group of people returning by train from Kerala. He said each state sending people back would pre-register travelers to ensure there are no mistakes. Stranded workers returning by train will be met at specific rail stations. Government teams will transfer them to quarantine centers. Then we will send them by bus to their respective destinations.

Odisha has announced 11 entry points for those returning by road. Each traveler will be marked with indelible ink on the right hand.

(With contributions from Ramendra Singh in Bhopal, Hemanta Pradhan in Bhubaneswar and Kumod Verma and Faryal Rumi in Patna)